Al Jazeera reports: Disagreements among political factions are likely to delay – or cancel – plans to form a National Guard, Iraqi lawmakers said. The proposed fighting force was originally suggested by the United States to combat fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern and western Iraq, but there have reportedly been disputes over the force’s makeup and its commanders.
According to analysts, the postponement of the National Guard’s formation could end the thaw between Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi and Iraq’s Sunnis. It could also undermine national reconciliation efforts between Iraq’s Sunnis, Shia Muslims and Kurds.
“The National Alliance [the Shia bloc in parliament] have [bad] intentions despite the fact that it [National Guard] will be a part of the National Defence System,” Hamid al-Mutlaq, a senior Sunni lawmaker and the deputy of parliament’s security and defence committee, told Al Jazeera.
“There is procrastination and delay when it comes to [discussing] the National Guard law … and this will negatively impact the war against Daesh [ISIL] and the political process,” Mutlaq said. [Continue reading…]